Spearior "d8"

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by fred0325, May 14, 2012.

  1. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

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    1,084
    Hello all,

    I have seen a fair few "Spearior" 's both on Ebay and in real life but never one that has mimiced a "D8". But this one does. Perhaps I have just led a sheltered life.

    I think that there is a saying alluding to imitation being the highest form of flattery and this is certainly just that. When I first saw it on a photograph, I nearly discarded it as being a D8 and even when I had it in my hands it was not until I noticed the non-standard (blank but domed) saw screw/medallion that I began to take a second (and thrid) look at it.

    Anyway the pictures say more than I can about the extent of the imitation.

    Any ideas on pre or post WW1 those of you who have catalogues. I don't know when the brand name was brought out, but the saw looks like a pre/circa WW1 D8 although the only Speariors that I have seen have been well post WW2.

    Fred
     

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  2. Joe S

    Joe S Most Valued Member

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    351
    Hey Fred et al.
    I would assume when the patent ran out, it became fair game for all the competitors to use this innovation to their advantage also. I don't have a "Spearior d8" but this Canadian Shurley Dietrich "1900" is a blatant "borrow" from the Disston D8 handle series similar to Spear and Jacksons imitation that you have. If I'm not mistaken I think a few other companies borrowed the design also and I need to find a couple examples. I think you are correct in assuming that it would be a pre WW1 saw. This saw I would think would be of similar date. Disston set up shop shortly after 1900 in Toronto and I wonder if this was in response to some of the idea thefts. EC Atkins eventually combined with Shurley Dietrich here maybe as way to continue to compete with the big guys.

    enjoy
    Joe S.
     

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  3. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

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    1,084
    Hi Joe,

    Lovely saw, perfect handle with an enormously deep cut out for the thumb.

    I have read that the reason for the Canadian Disstons was so that the company could circumvent the trade tariffs imposed by what was then the British Empire on none Empire produced goods. ( Rudyard Kipling's peom about Our Lady of the Snows (Canada) is about Canada's imposition of trading tariffs, but when it was written exactly, I don't know).

    How true it is I also don't know, but it sounds a reasonable thing to do. Atkins may have done it for the same reason.

    Fred
     
  4. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    1,084
    Hi all,

    Just to put another one up. This time it is a Drabble and Sanderson.

    Fred
     

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  5. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    325
    Hi Fred,

    My Spear & Jackson 1915 catalogue reprint (The Handsaw Catalog Collection) notes that the thumbhole handle was an option for the larger sizes of their "Double Mermaid" and "Mermaid" branded saws (see notes in the attached scan, just above the pricing charts). I think these predate your "Spearior" saw.
    E C Atkins (Indianapolis USA) also show several thumbhole saws in their 1919 catalog, and I have a T F Shurly (St Catharines Canada) "Arrowhead" thumbhole saw that dates from his 1914-1927 existence.
    So it seems that anyone who wanted to could reproduce the Disston style thumbhole handle at that time.

    Note to Joe; Early versions of the Shurly & Dietrich "1900" saw (introduced between their 1902 and 1915 catalogues) had an enlarged handhole to accomodate the thumb. Their advertizing hype noted that with their "new Improved Rip Saw Handle....The extended hole at the top permits the use of the other hand, by entering the thumb and closing the hand a perfect grip is obtained."
    Their later change to the separate thumbhole on your saw probably reflects a minimal response to this early design.
     

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  6. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member

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    1,084
    Hi Kiwi,

    I hadn't looked at my etch properly, but on doing so the etch is in the same style as the one on the top saw of your catalogue doc. and is definitely a "Mermaid". The only difference being from your document is that it has "Spearior" over the top of the etch and "88" under it. ( A little in the style of the 2nd saw down).

    Do you know the timeframe in which the 88's were produced? It may be so broad as to be effectively meaningless, but it may also provide broad date ranges for my saw.

    Fred
     
  7. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    325
    Hi Fred,

    Sorry, I don't know exactly when "Spearior" was introduced (WAG 1930s/1940s), or how long the "Mermaid 88" was continued.

    I have a non-"spearior" Mermaid 88 handsaw that has the same etch style as shown in the catalogue, and a big Spear & Jackson medallion of the same design as I have on an old split nut S&J ripsaw.

    My "Spearior" Mermaid 88A handsaw has the same central etch as your saw with a minor difference being model "88A" instead of "Improved 88 Quality" (the catalogue scan posted earlier states the difference between the 88 and the 88A is that the 88A lacks the brass reinforcing plate below the grip), but the written side etches are different on my saw from your side etches. [ "??ed for, hardness & spring" and "Spearior Temper, Works best with a small amount, of set on points of teeth only"] My saw has a smaller diameter and simplified design Spear & Jackson medallion (but still brass).

    Both my Mermaids have handle designs that resemble regular (not thumbhole) D8s.

    Since you are on the S&J side of the ocean and I'm not, I'm relying on you for sorting out the timeline for all these confusing S&J etch/handle/medallion variations :)
     
  8. TobyC

    TobyC Most Valued Member

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    216
    I didn't think Disston had a specific patent for the thumbhole saw. The only patent that would apply was Christopher Eisenhardt's US Patent: 150,678, and that wasn't specifically for what we call a thumbhole handle.
    If Disston thumbhole saws weren't specifically patent protected, wouldn't others be free to copy it?

    Toby
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  9. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

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    107
    Given that I have three of these on the scrubbing bench at the moment lining up for restorations, I thought I would court some controversy ... because I'm a really bored saw nerd at the moment with this covid19 lock down.

    I reckon I must clean up/sharpen about two dozen of these a year, normally 1940-1970 era models, but occasionally an early iteration with split nuts (pre 1915), or the rare straight backed version. Accordingly I believe that these are seriously under appreciated saws for the average user.

    They don't have a Disston medallion, and are clearly a D8 knockoff, but they are at least every bit as good as a run of the factory D8, and in fact, I would go as far to say that I reckon they are tempered harder and have better steel than Disston's later era production. Some are so hard they rival very fancy Atkins' and Disston's, bearing in mind that the 88 wasn't a top of the line model in Spear & Jackson's range.

    The beech handles aren't flash, and the grained, taper ground blade isn't as pretty as a mirror-blocked article, but for the average chippy, fencer or roofer these are hard, stiff and murder framing timber. They aren't afraid of hard work and certainly go for less than Disston's fancier, but not necessarily better, products.
     
  10. gmac

    gmac Active Member

    Messages:
    27
    Hi all,

    just to add to the storey, here is my Spear & Jackson
    Mermaid #88 (D8 thumb hole style handle)
    26" 5 ppi rip saw

    Graham.
     

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